Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Goose Is Cooked!

My Christmas project this year was to cook a goose. Daunting, I know, but I did my research and it turned out better than I thought it would. I'll break it down for you in the easy steps I used to get the job done.

1. Go out and buy a goose. I found mine at the Pattee Creek Market, because I know they carry some of the stranger meats in town. But on Christmas Eve I saw a couple in Albertson's as well, so they aren't too hard to find. And come to find out, one of my co-workers raises geese, so I could have gotten one from him. I should have bought a bigger one though, because there isn't that much meat on a goose. Mine was 8.13 lbs. and it served about 5 of us. But we weren't expert carvers either, so that could have made a difference.

2. Clean the goose. I let mine sit in the fridge for a day and a half before I attempted it, and it was still very frozen on the inside. Be ready to pull out a spine and other innards with the massive amounts of fat. I foolishly tossed these, which I now regret, because anything cooked in goose fat is delicious.

3. Put the goose in boiling water for a minute or two. This supposedly separates the skin from the actual meat. I'm not so sure it works, or else I boiled it for too short of a time. But maybe things would have ended tragically if I had skipped this step. I also poked lots and lots of holes in the skin with a skewer. This step was essential, as it allowed the delicious goose fat to escape and flavor the vegetables in the roasting pan.

4. Let it dry in the fridge for at least a day and a half. This also gives you plenty of time to do the rest of your cooking prep work, and buy enough alcohol for you and your guests, since no one wants to go shopping on Christmas day.

5. Arrange lots of aromatic vegetables in a roasting pan. I used carrots, parsnips, celery, onions and lemon. I also used a cookie cooling rack at the bottom to keep the goose out of its own fat. I know, I've told you how delicious it is a few times already, but don't worry, there is more than enough fat in the goose itself.

6. Have someone very special mix up some stuffing for you. If you don't have a ultra cute wife like me, then one of your drinking buddies will do just fine.

7. Stuff the stuffing inside the empty cavity. This will be messy. Vegetarians and need not apply.

8. Apply your glaze of choice. There are tons of recipes out there, just Google it, or head down to your local library and check out a book or two. I used extra virgin olive oil, cracked peppercorn, fresh thyme, salt and chopped garlic. You'll want to make enough to apply a little each time you check on the bird. I pre-heated the oven to 45o and let it cook for half an hour, then dropped the temperature to 350 and checked every half an hour. In retrospect, I would cook it at 375 the next time, because it took longer than I thought to cook.

9. And since I had so much extra time, I was able to sing karaoke while I waiting for it to get done. Be sure to invite friends over, as you'll be waiting around for a while for the goose to cook.

10. Carve the bird. I am by no means proficient and carving any sort of fowl, and so it was a laissez-faire approach to getting meat. It was every man for himself.
11. Be prepared for the aftermath. Everyone will have their fill and this is what you're left with. Be sure to budget time the next day to clean up the remains, and get that goose smell out of your apartment.

The goose was a big hit, although not as much as Darcy's insanely tasty mashed potatoes and stuffed mushrooms. I thought the veggies cooked in goose fat and stuffing held its own, but Darcy also can take credit for the stuffing. All in all, a great success!

...and no, Jeffrey's did not partake in the goose. He's on a diet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

Today we went out and bought ourselves some Christmas cheer. First off, we got real, honest-to-goodness mistletoe. We'll see how long it lasts. But I'm excited to steal a few kisses with Darcy under the mistletoe for the next few weeks.

Then we went out on an impromptu Christmas tree shopping excursion. We found a great Charlie Brown-ish tree, stuffed it into our car and set it up. Somehow we lost our tinsel coming in from the car, but we still got it looking pretty good. Where did the tinsel get to? We even checked the fridge, as we bought beer at the same time and stashed that in the fridge. No dice.

And finally, I poured out a little Sparks today for my favorite icicle of the year. What was the deal with our 50 degree weather today? I'm already sick of winter, so I don't like to be teased with spring like weather.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ron Paul 2008

I went home to Kalispell for Thanksgiving and my dad showed me the Ron Paul hat he made. Pretty awesome. Ron Paul 2008!

When we got back home we cooked Jeffreys up his own game hen. He ate some of it, but I think I had more. It was pretty good.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Madness!

Halloween is by far Darcy's favorite holiday, and I like it quite a bit too. She came up with a great costume this year. I was a magician and she was my assistant who I had really sawed in half. Most impressive of all was the incredible saw she crafted while I was at work. It looked pretty real.

Jeffreys really wanted to dress as a cat for Halloween this year, but had to settle for being a fire chief.
The party at the Badlander was pretty incredible. I should have gotten some pictures of the Zombie Brothel, because it was totally impressive, but I was too enthralled watching. There were zombies of all kinds, even a spaceman zombie. Both the Badlander and Palace were packed and almost everyone was dressed up, which made it super fun. Pleaseeasaur was great as usual, I got a picture of him wearing the greatest shirt ever. I am smiling. Classic.

Volumen played a great Rocky Horror set even though I haven't yet seen the movie. I think I will now. I was way too far back to get a decent picture, so you'll have to take my word for it that they went all out with their costumes. Someone who was familiar with the movie told me they really took the songs up a notch. I always love watching the Volumen, they put on a great show.

All in all, a great Halloween.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Don't Know Jack-O-Lantern!

With the coming of October, we decided it was also time to do a little pumpkin carving. To at least get warmed up for Halloween. Darcy had a little trouble with the guts of her pumpkin, but then discovered the handy trick of using an ice cream scoop to get them out. We later found out Martha Stewart recommends making your initial cut on the bottom of the pumpkin, to help get all the gunk out, and so you can light the candle and put the pumpkin over the top. Clever. We will be trying that out on our next go round.

Look at my precision and skill with the knife!

Darcy finished way before I did. The only think I can say is that I pulled out all of the gunk from Jeffreys' pumpkin before I started mine. But I will say Darcy did a fine job of carving the kitty pumpkin. The ears were my idea, though.

Once we got them lit, we were proud of our accomplishments. They have been standing guard outside our front door for a week and a half and are getting close to the stage known as "totally rotted." No matter. These were warm ups for the real deal. Another helpful tip we learned after we finished these was to rinse out the inside with a mixture of water and anti-bacterial soap to keep the pumpkin from rotting so soon. We will be trying that next time as well. Look at how scary my pumpkin turned out.

And Darcy's.

I did bake the pumpkin seeds, but I think I have a new technique after talking to a co-worker. Mine were great right out of the oven, but didn't stand up to an overnight stay. They got a little bit chewy. They still tasted ok, but weren't quite crispy enough. Again, this will be resolved on the next go round.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

...By the Way

I got married on September 8th. I'm indescribably happy. The wedding was awesome, tons of family and lots of friends I haven't seen in a long time. Thanks to everyone who came out, it was amazing. I wish it could have lasted longer.

Now I'm busy building desks and tables and buying new couches. Some days I feel like a real life grown up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Trip To Seattle

I was in Seattle this weekend dropping off Turnips with his rightful family. Highlights included seeing my old roommate Tyler, 50 cent Pabst, having a fire scare at a bar, not calling anyone I knew there and one creepy picture of me with a mustache.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Turnips The Cat

The last week I've been in a two-cat household. I never thought I would see the day, but Jeffreys now has a friend, albeit temporarily. Turnips is Darcy's sister's cat. (Hey Casey!) He may be the freakiest cat I've ever spent time around. He's long, and meows a lot. He and Jeffreys had a really tough go of it at first, but now they're buddies. During the day they stay quiet, but at night I hear them playing upstairs. He's not too bad, and he gives me a good excuse to drive out to Seattle this weekend to drop him off at his new home. Plus I think Jeffrey's really enjoys the company.

Also, here are some pictures of me playing with the Seattle band BOAT a week or so ago (thanks Candice!) and Black Velvet Elvis playing last night. Don't sleep, they are coming up in the Missoula music scene in a big way!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Breaking Radio Silence

I've really let this blog slip, and I'll spare you my usual, "but I have been busy!" excuse. I don't have time to write about everything I've been up to, and you wouldn't want to read it anyway, so here's the last month and a half in pictures. Concerts, Touring, and just hanging out being my cool self.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kickin' It Old School

Tonight I decided to remember what it was like surviving college, and didn't feel like cooking or having much to clean up, so I made some Top Ramen. Cajun Chicken style.

Easy as one two three, eh? And a swift and easy clean up. And for 20 cents, it is quite thrifty as well.
Notice the Ubuntu boot screen behind the Ramen...

Also easy as one, two, three and quite thrifty. You can download it here.